Congrats – you’ve officially gotten married!  (well, assuming you’ve signed the marriage certificate…but as far as your guests are concerned – you’re hitched!)  So what’s the very first song that you will hear as a married couple?

The Recessional Music is your best opportunity in the entire wedding ceremony to lighten things up.  This is the start of the celebration: He said yes!  She didn’t run!  So why not dance your way out?  OK…slow down Fingers, you’re getting ahead of yourself.

Pick the right music for your theme

I’ve mentioned this in other wedding music blogs, but it is important to know your theme.  Obviously, if you’re getting married in a church with a pipe organist, you shouldn’t decide on Cee-Lo Green’s “F*** You” for your recessional music (maybe In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida??).  There are plenty of celebratory classical pieces that will do the job wonderfully.  From the “Wedding March” to “Hallelujah Chorus”, the recessional music is the dramatic and joyous cherry on top of a beautiful cake that is your ceremony (fine, I have terrible metaphors).

But if you’re not in a church, why not opt for something more current, as in written after 1900?

Have Fun With Your Recessional Music

The options here are limitless!  Maybe there’s a fun upbeat tune you want to dance your way out to, Like Pharrell’s “Happy”, or you throw it back with “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder?  One of my recent favorites, for those of us who love 80’s music, is “You make my dreams come true” by Hall and Oates – which was what was played at my personal reception!  Save the sappy songs for earlier in the ceremony, or for the first dances…now’s the time to start the party!

And as an aside, it makes the recessional walk much less awkward if you have something fun jamming out behind you.  Not everyone likes being the center of attention, and if you think you’ll turn beet red for your first walk as a married couple, use the music as a tool to help lighten the mood 🙂

Should my Recessional be live or DJed?

I’m glad you asked!

Sometimes the choice is clear…If you hired a DJ for the ceremony, I doubt he’s going to be able to rock and roll Dueling Pianos style.  If you hired a string quartet, chances are they haven’t set up the sound equipment to let you exit to Michael Jackson.

Regardless, either works wonderfully.  If you have a live musician(s), see what they offer.  Sometimes it can be hard getting a string quartet to amp up the energy, but there are many quartet’s out there who learn more modern and popular music so that they have some fun choices for you.  Or if you have a vocalist available, maybe this is a good time to let them cut loose.

If you hire a group like Felix and Fingers (who will provide both the live and DJ options), make use of your options as you see fit.  But don’t stress out about the choice and over think it – find your favorite tune and just run with it.  There are much difficult decisions than this one!

Recessional Music Playlist

Below is a playlist of a few suggestions.  These range from the classical choices that will work great in a traditional atmosphere, to the current day pop tunes that will cue the start of a fantastic night.  Don’t feel limited by this list at all though, it’s only a sampling of Recessional music choices.  Use the playlist to get your gears turning and pick something that embodies your personalities.  Ceremonies are typically so serious…don’t be afraid to have a little fun!

FYI:  The first tune on this list is from Dave Radford’s Duo “The Gray Havens“.  Maybe we’re a little biased on the song choices…but it’s a good wedding song!

Be sure to check out the rest of the wedding music blog series here, or if you’d like more info about what Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos can do at your wedding, contact us!


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